- Concrete Floor Information
- Concrete Floor Pictures
- Common Questions about Concrete Floors: Are they cold? Are they loud? Are they expensive?
- Popular Flooring Types: Kitchen floors, garage floors, basement floors and more
- Interior Floor Finishes: A comparison of finishing options available
- Concrete Floor Cost
- Installing Concrete Floors
- Caring for Concrete Floors
- Concrete Floor Design Ideas: Get inspiration from floor installations across the country
- Concrete Floor Applications
- Staining Concrete Floors
- Painting Concrete Floors
- Stenciling Concrete Floors
- Polishing Concrete Floors
- Self-Leveling Concrete Overlays
- Related Information
- Concrete Products:
Concrete Stains | Concrete Overlays
- Design Ideas: Concrete Floor Info
Staining Concrete FloorsTips and design ideas for using stains to enhance concrete floors
Staining is, by far, the most popular method for enhancing both commercial and residential concrete floors. Concrete stains are highly versatile, allowing you to achieve just about any look imaginable to suit your design tastes and budget. With stains, you have the ability to add subtle hints of color, bolder design accents, and even custom graphics. Stains can be applied to both new or existing concrete floors and work equally well with concrete overlays. What’s more, because concrete stains penetrate deeply into the concrete surface, they produce fade-resistant, permanent color. Unlike with a paint or coating, the color won't flake off or peel away.
Depending on the look you want to achieve for your stained concrete floor, you can choose from acid-based chemical stains or water-based stains. Acid stains penetrate and react chemically with the concrete, creating natural color variations that add character and unique mottling effects, similar to the appearance of marble or granite. However, the color selection is generally limited to subtle earth tones, such as tans, browns, terra cottas, and soft blue-greens.
If you want to go beyond the subtle drama and subdued color palette of acid staining, consider using water-based stains, which come in a full spectrum of hues. In many cases, the different colors can be mixed, like water-based paints, to broaden your options.
There are endless decorative effects you can achieve when using acid or water-based stains. Sometimes the best approach is to keep it simple, using just one stain color in a hue that will complement your decor. Or you can be more daring and use multiple stain colors to create custom looks. Although shades of brown and gray are the most popular stain colors for concrete floors, don’t be afraid to try bolder shades, such as blue or black, to add more drama.
Here are a few design ideas to spark your imagination:
- Try layering different stain colors or layering stains with dyes to create unique color variations and depth. See these projects:
- Apply multiple colors of stain to mimic the look of natural marble (see Getting Concrete to Look Like Natural Marble).
- Use stains along with decorative stencils, templates, or even painter’s tape to create custom graphics. See these projects:
- Apply water-based stains in bold colors to produce eye-catching graphic treatments (see Bowled Over by Color).
- Combine staining with decorative engraving or sawcut patterns to achieve looks ranging from tile to wood planking to more elaborate floral motifs. See these projects:
- Use just one stain color to produce a look that’s simple and elegant. Because stains react with the concrete, even the use of one stain color will result in unique, variegated color tones. See these examples:
- Create distinctive faux finishes by applying stain using sponges, rags, brushes or even pieces of crumpled paper. See these examples:
Keep in mind that although staining is a comparatively low-cost finish option for concrete floors, the final price tag of the project will increase if you want to use multiple stain colors, create custom graphics and faux finishes, or stain existing concrete that will need extensive cleaning and sealer removal.
Stained Concrete vs. Other Flooring Materials